Festivals are life-changing experiences powerful enough to change the worldviews of hedonists who attend them, whether you’re a dedicated bohemian or a jaded workaholic who needs to let loose, festivals deliver memories that last a lifetime.
Regrettably, the pandemic has wiped many festivals dates from the 2020 calendar. But this has only whet the appetite for the free-spirits of the world to hit the festival scene even harder when they return next year.
Browse through our selection of the best festivals to book now for 2021.
When: 9-11 and 16-18 April 2021 (to be confirmed)
Where: Indio, California
Genre: Rock, pop, indie, hip hop, electronic dance music
A festival that needs no introduction, Coachella is an annual gathering that attracts sun-seeking celebrities each spring. Initially set to take place in April 2020, it has now been announced that Coachella will return in April 2021.
The headliners for 2020 included Rage Against the Machine, Travis Scott and Frank Ocean, with other amazing artists such as Calvin Harris and Lana Del Rey. And while the line-up for 2021 hasn’t yet been confirmed, we’re keeping our fingers crossed that these big names will return to perform next year.
When: 30 August-7 September 2020 (online); 2021 (exact dates to be confirmed)
Where: Nevada, USA.
Genre: Bass, techno, house, dubstep, tech house, deep house, playa tech
In a middle-of-nowhere spot in the Nevada desert at the end of every summer, an eccentric community of 50,000 builds a temporary metropolis, Black Rock City: a ‘crucible of creativity’.
While there are other elements keeping festivalgoers entertained—art installations, vendors, and even a Ferris wheel—the music is, as ever, the main attraction.
Sadly, for the first time in its nearly 40-year history, Burning Man will not go ahead in 2020, organisers instead opting to take the annual event online. Dates for the 2021 event will be announced shortly. It’s anticipated to return to its spiritual home of Black Rock Desert over the Labour Day weekend next year.
When: 16-18 July and 23-25 2021
Where: Boom, Belgium
Genre: Electronic dance
Inaugurated in 2005, Tomorrowland has since become one of the world’s most popular electronic music festivals. It’s no coincidence that this mega-festival takes place in a Belgian town called Boom. After having to take a year off, Tomorrowland returns in July 2021 with another successful line-up that includes EDM, house, techno, hardstyle, drum and bass, trance and more; all showcased over tens of stages, many curated by some of each genre’s foremost brands and artists.
Recent Tomorrowland line-ups have featured the likes of The Chainsmokers, Carl Cox, Amelie Lens, Martin Garrix, Armin van Buuren, Tiësto and many more. They all played out amongst Tomorrowland’s incredible stage design, production, and quirky surprises.
Now regarded as a mecca for all dance music fans, Tomorrowland is well and truly at the top of every dance fan’s festival bucket list.
New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
When: 23 April-3 May 2021
Where: New Orleans, United States
Despite its name, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (aka Jazz Fest) is only partially about old-school jazz these days having broadened its reach to other genres in recent years.
Originally intended to take place in April 2020, the festival has now been moved to similar dates in 2021.
Previous editions of the famed festival have played host to the likes of Stevie Wonder, Neil Young and Lorde – but jazz heads and brass bands also play riotous sets in bars and clubs for all-comers.
Montreux Jazz Festival
When: 2-17 July 2021
Where: Montreux, Switzerland
Montreux Jazz Festival is renowned as one of the longest-running jazz festivals. It is held each summer on the shores of Lake Geneva, Switzerland. Organisers have been busy this year trying to reschedule big-name acts including Lionel Richie and Lenny Kravitz to ensure that when the festival returns, it makes up for lost time with an extra-memorable experience.
When: June 23-27, 2021
Where: Somerset, UK
Genre: Rock, pop, indie, hip hop, electronic dance music
Glastonbury began life as the 1,500-capacity Pilton Pop, Folk & Blues Festival in 1970 (tickets were £1 with free milk from the farm’s cows). In the half-century since, Glastonbury is renowned as one of the world’s biggest and most celebrated festivals. Boasting around 200,000 revellers, the festival has serious pull with global megastars and some of the biggest bands of all time. Previously headliners have included a diverse range including Adele, Kanye West, Oasis, The Cure, Radiohead and many more.
Due to celebrate its 50th anniversary this year with headliners Kendrick Lamar, Paul McCartney and Taylor Swift, hopes are high that next year will add even more big names to its impressive roster.
When: August 2021
Where: Yuzawa, Japan
Genre: Pop and rock
What began back in 1997 at the foot of Mount Fuji, now is the largest outdoor music festival in Japan. Famed for its guitar-slamming rock, previous headliners have included artists such as Bob Dylan, Radiohead, Coldplay The Chemical Brothers, and James Blake. In recent years, the festival has broadened its genre scope, a move that has been welcomed by increasingly larger audiences.
Postponed until next summer, official dates for Fuji Rock 2021 are set to be announced soon and will undoubtedly feature a star-studded line-up to ensure that next year’s edition is one of the best in its history.
The Governors Ball Music Festival
When: June 2021
Where: New York City, United States
Genre: Electronic and hip hop
Known as New York’s answer to Coachella and Glastonbury, The Governors Ball is one of America’s most sought-after multi-genre music festivals. The event unites the most influential names in hip-hop, rock, pop and electronic music to celebrate music in all forms against the backdrop of the city’s iconic skyline.
Scheduled to take place in June 2021, we recommend purchasing the “VIP Luxe” or “Platinum” programmes. These offer luxurious amenities and perks, including exclusive access to a backstage open bar and an elevated luxury suite that comes with shaded lounge seating and unforgettable views of the main stage.